Australian Junk Silver

Australian Junk Silver consists primarily of pre-decimal coins. Prior to 1966, the Australian Pound was the currency of Australia. It was based on the British Pound, or pound sterling, and was similarly divided into 20 shillings. Each shilling was divided into 12 pence.

Australian Pre-Decimal Junk Silver Coins including the Crown, Shilling, 6 Pence and 3 Pence coins.
Australian Pre-Decimal Junk Silver Crowns, Shillings, 6 Pence and 3 Pence coins

The Australian Pound had a fixed exchange rate with the pound sterling.

In 1945 the fineness of Australian silver coins was reduced from .925 to .500.

In February 1966, Australia’s currency was switched from the Australian Pound to the Australian Dollar. The conversion granted a rate of 10 Shillings per dollar. Many Australian coins minted prior to 1966 contain silver.

During the changeover in 1966, Australians were required to turn in their silver coins for new decimal issued coins. Millions of the pre-decimal silver coins were then melted down by the government.

Many people hoarded the silver coins. Many of those are now traded on the secondary market as Junk Silver from Australia.

In general, Australian coins that were minted from 1910-1945 contain 92.5% sterling silver. From 1945 until 1963 they contain 50% silver. In 1966, the Australian 50 cent coin was minted from 80% silver.

Some of the early pre-decimal coins may have numismatic value to collectors that is greater than their intrinsic melt value.

The chart below shows the approximate silver weight of each coin, the silver percentage and the number of coins that you’d need per troy ounce. This will help you calculate the value of Australian Junk Silver.

Australian Junk Silver Coins by Weight

Silver Coin

Silver Content

Year of

Weight (grams)

Weight (troy)

Melt Value

3 Pence
3 Pence
6 Pence
6 Pence
50 Cents

Australian Florin Silver Coin

The florin circulated in Australia prior to the conversion to decimal currency. The denomination was minted from 1910 until 1963.

From the introduction of the florin in 1910 until 1945, the florin was minted in sterling silver with a .925 fineness. The gross weight of each coin is 11.31 grams with an approximate silver weight (ASW) of 10.46 gram (0.3363 troy ounces). The melt value of a florin that was minted from 1910 until 1945 is $7.73.

In 1946 the composition of the Florin was reduced to .500 fineness (50% silver purity). The gross weight of each coin remained the same. The approximate silver weight was reduced to 5.65 grams (0.1818 troy ounces).

The melt value of a florin that was minted from 1946 until 1963 is $4.18.

The value of a florin was equivalent to 24 pence. There were 10 florins per pound. During decimalization the florin was given a fixed conversion rate of 20 cents.

Minting of the florin coin occurred at mint facilities in Birmingham (H mintmark) and Melbourne (M mintmark). During World War II from 1942 until 1944 production was supplemented with coins minted at the San Francisco Mint (US Mint). The florin coins produced by the San Francisco Mint show the S mintmark.

Australian Silver Shilling

The silver shilling coin was in circulation in Australia from 1910 until 1963. During the years 1910 through 1945 the shilling was minted from sterling silver with .925 purity. From 1946 until 1963 the silver shilling contained .500 fineness, or 50% silver.

Like the British currency, twenty Australian shillings were the equivalent of one pound.

When decimal coins were introduced into Australia in 1966 the shilling was given a value equivalent to 10 cents.

When looking for junk silver from Australia it is very common to find both shillings and florins. Millions of these coins were minted in and for Australia from 1910 until 1966.

Australian 6 Pence silver coins

From 1910 until 1963 the 6 pence coin was in common circulation throughout Australia. The 6 pence silver coin was decommissioned when the currency system in Australia switched to decimalization.

Early 6 pence coins that were minted from 1910 until 1945 were minted in sterling silver. Each coin contained 2.62 grams of .925 fine silver.

Starting in 1946, the silver purity of the 6 pence coin was reduced to 50%. Each 6 pence coin minted from 1946 until 1963 contains 1.42 grams of pure silver in a .500 fineness.

Australian 3 Pence silver coins

The smallest of the Australian Junk Silver coins was the 3 pence coin. The silver 3 pence coin was in common circulation prior to Australia’s decimalization in 1963.

From 1911 until 1945 the 3 pence coin was minted from sterling silver with .925 fineness. Each 3 pence coin during this period contained 1.3 grams of pure silver.

In 1947 the 3 pence coin was reduced in purity to .500 fineness along with all other silver coinage of the time. Each 3 pence coin minted from 1947 until 1964 contained just .71 grams of silver.

Where to find Junk Silver from Australia?

Many of the pre-decimal coins were turned in or exchanged for decimal based coins during the conversion of currency in the 1960s. Millions of the pre-decimal coins that were turned into the government were melted down.

Many citizens refused to turn in their silver coins. Those coins were hoarded because of their intrinsic silver value.

It is common to find these coins traded on the secondary market. You can buy Australian Junk Silver from online bullion dealers in the United States. You may also be able to find it at local coin shops, pawn shops and flea markets.